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La Liga: Barca Gear Up Before El Clasico

Barcelona vs Eibar

La Liga defending champions Barcelona will have their hands full in the next few days as they will face Napoli in the Champions League and then Real Madrid for the much-awaited El Clasico.

But for now, the Blaugrana will take on Eibar at home as they continue their journey back at the top of the La Liga standings.

Real Madrid still hold the lead with 53 points while Barcelona are trailing with 52. Both have won four of their last five fixtures and the race to the top gets tighter by the day.

After being eliminated in the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao, Barca had underwhelming wins against Real Betis and Getafe CF. So expect them to come out guns ablaze against Eibar since they won’t have it any easy for the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Eibar are holding on to the 16th spot at the table with 24 points. After briefly flirting with relegation few weeks ago, Los Armeros shocked Atletico Madrid and then drew level against Celta Vigo and Real Betis. They are fresh off of a loss against Alaves last Saturday.

Obviously, Barca are heavily favoured in our La Liga 2020 odds to win this weekend, but can they finally reach their peak form soon?

 

Talking Points

Will Barca finally focus on the task at hand?

It’s no secret that the Blaugrana’s problems are more in the dressing room than on the field. Even their superstar Lionel Messi admitted himself that “weird things” are happening in Camp Nou.

 In lieu with rumours of Messi having one foot out of the door, the Catalan giants have been on the wrong end of our La Liga 2020 news when a Spanish radio station claimed that the team hired a social media group to lambast certain figures to keep club president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s intact.

This development came weeks after Messi spoke out against Eric Abidal when the latter suggested that the players didn’t give their all during Ernesto Valverde’s time in Camp Nou.

Valverde was replaced by Quique Setien in late January as an attempt to revitalize the squad with a new voice.

Under Setien so far, the Catalan giants notched four wins via a single goal margin and they only had one clean sheet, which means that they still need to do more work in order to reclaim the top spot.

It doesn’t help when Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are injured. However, they still have enough depth and quality to overwhelm their opponents.

Ansu Fati has been a revelation for Barca while Antoinne Griezmann has shown improvement over the past few contests. Frenkie de Jong, Clement Lenglet, and Sergio Busquets have contributed as well particularly against Real Betis where they scored three goals.

But the head of the snake remains to be Lionel Messi. The Argentinean talisman may have had a scoring drought recently, but he is still the league leader in goals made with 14 plus 12 assists.

It’s about time for Barca to shrug away their internal doldrums, and a win over Eibar should alleviate those problems for the time being.

Eibar trying to break free

Eibar have always been known as one of the La Liga’s cellar dwellers and this season is no different as they continue to fight for their survival in top-flight.

They are at the 16th spot at the table with 24 points, but for sure team boss Jose Mendilibar would be more than eager to get more wins in order to stay away from relegation.

There aren’t too many highlights to remember if you’re a supporter of Los Armeros. However, they’ve had some positive moments in their campaign.

Eibar will look to end their winless run against Barcelona and claim their first victory at Camp Nou in La Liga
Eibar players celebrate their victory against Atletico Madrid

One of those top moments was when they shocked Atletico Madrid with a 2-0 tally to start the year 2020. Esteban Burgos scored the first goal in the 10th and it was followed up by another one by Edu Exposito during added time.

Fabian Orellana is the man to watch out for Eibar as he leads them with six goals and four assists this season. Kike, Charles, and Edu Exposito have been decent as well as they’ve accounted for seven goals so far.

Jose Mendilibar’s side isn’t really known to have big names on the roster. But if they could replicate their performance versus Atletico Madrid this weekend, that should be considered a win in itself already.

 

History

Barcelona have won all four home games since Quique Setien took over, and it’s expected that trend will continue this weekend.

Eibar have lost all five La Liga fixtures against Barca in Camp Nou, giving up 19 goals in the process.

Los Armeros have one of the poorest away records in the La Liga, having won only two in their last 27 games. They’ve only scored eight goals in their 12 away fixtures so far this term.

 

Betting Tip

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Barcelona vs Eibar Barcelona Asian Handicap -2.00 @ 2.01
February 22, 23:00 (GMT+8)

SBOTOP odds have Barcelona as the favourites at 1.20, while Eibar are at 12.00 and a draw is at 6.40 in the 1×2 market.

Given the disparity of quality between these two clubs and the Blaugrana’s dominance at home, Barcelona should have no problem dispatching Eibar in Camp Nou.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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